In weeks where someone scores a hat-trick or puts in a stand out performance in their field, picking a ‘Supremo’ is easy, but in weeks where there maybe isn’t an obvious choice, we have to dig a bit deeper and see who really is doing their job with brilliance and consistency…….
With that in mind and the fact that his team are getting outstanding results without arguably their two best players, this week’s award goes to Tottenham boss, Mauricio Pochettino.
He’s up against some of the most expensively resembled teams in history, answers to one of the most frugal men in the game, hasn’t spent a penny himself in the last two transfer windows, has dealt with a so far disastrous stadium move admirably and has suffered the afore mentioned injuries.
The fact that he has this Spurs are side competing at all is a magic trick in itself, but if Tottenham win away at Burnley this Saturday lunch time (23-2-19) and Man Utd beat Liverpool the day after, winning the Premier League will be in their own hands heading towards March…………. A borderline miracle!
If taking 12 league points from the last 12 without England’s number 9 wasn’t impressive enough, Poch’s men even swatted away the buccaneering Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, who have so far swept all before them this season.
All the while the studious Argentinian rarely finds himself in trouble with the FA, regularly shoulders responsibility, never publicly derides his players, ran down the touchline to diffuse a ‘fight’ in their biggest game of the season and only makes the headlines when he’s linked with Man Utd or Real Madrid.
If anyone was in any doubt, this guy is the real McCoy!
After being scouted by future manager and mentor Marcelo Bielsa at age 14, he signed for Newell’s Old Boys in 1987 and made his Primera Division debut in 1988.
The tough, no nonsense defender then moved on to Espanyol, Paris Saint Germain and Bordeaux, before eventually returning to Espanyol, where he finished his playing career.
In the midst of all this was 20 caps for Argentina and one World Cup, where his most noteworthy contribution was to ‘foul’ Michael Owen and gift England a penalty and David Beckham a chance of ultimate redemption.
Coaching naturally followed for the scholarly defender and with only fleeting experience with the Periquitos (Espanyol) women’s team, he was handed the task of taking on Pep’s brilliant Barca in the Cup. After an impressive 0-0 draw, the coaching career of Mauricio Pochettino was well and truly underway.
Even though his spell as manager of El Blanquiazules ended mutually, amid the financial constraints placed upon him, the man from Murphy, Argentina had done enough to alert the attention of the bigger boys from overseas.
In an era where Southampton were being extremely well run, it’s no surprise in hindsight that St Mary’s was his destination.
After little over a year in the Saints’ hot-seat, Poch was on the move again, this time to White Hart Lane, where he bought intelligently, promoted from within and put together one of the most honest, hard-working and talented squads in Europe.
Mocked in some quarters for never having won a trophy as a manager (he won 4 as a player by the way), it’s questionable whether any manager in the game could’ve done a better job than what Pochettino has done in his time at Tottenham and when he eventually moves on again, you can bet your last peseta that this week’s ‘Sports 360 Supremo’ will be taking one of the biggest jobs in the world!